Fluoxetine up-regulates expression of cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein and inhibits LPS-induced apoptosis in hippocampus-derived neural stem cell

Shih Hwa Chiou, Shih Jen Chen, Chi Hsien Peng, Yu Li Chang, Hung Hai Ku, Wen-Ming Hsu, Larry L.T. Ho, Chen Hsen Lee

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Fluoxetine is a widely used antidepressant compound which inhibits the reuptake of serotonin in the central nervous system. Recent studies have shown that fluoxetine can promote neurogenesis and improve the survival rate of neurons. However, whether fluoxetine modulates the proliferation or neuroprotection effects of neural stem cells (NSCs) needs to be elucidated. In this study, we demonstrated that 20 μM fluoxetine can increase the cell proliferation of NSCs derived from the hippocampus of adult rats by MTT test. The up-regulated expression of Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and the cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein (c-FLIP) in fluoxetine-treated NSCs was detected by real-time RT-PCR. Our results further showed that fluoxetine protects the lipopolysaccharide- induced apoptosis in NSCs, in part, by activating the expression of c-FLIP. Moreover, c-FLIP induction by fluoxetine requires the activation of the c-FLIP promoter region spanning nucleotides -414 to -133, including CREB and SP1 sites. This effect appeared to involve the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase-dependent pathway. Furthermore, fluoxetine treatment significantly inhibited the induction of proinflammatory factor IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α in the culture medium of LPS-treated NSCs (p < 0.01). The results of high performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrochemical detection further confirmed that fluoxentine increased the functional production of serotonin in NSCs. Together, these data demonstrate the specific activation of c-FLIP by fluoxetine and indicate the novel role of fluoxetine for neuroprotection in the treatment of depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-400
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 5 2006
Externally publishedYes



  • Cellular FLICE-inhibitory protein
  • Fluoxetine
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Neural stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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